Erika is a first-generation Dominican, born and raised in Boston. She has been a youth worker and community organizer for over 7 years. As a youth, she worked for Beantown Society and The City School in Boston. Erika was part of the METCO Program attending Concord-Carlisle Regional High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Africana Studies from Simmons College. Erika’s passion is to empower youth of color to analyze power and oppression in society and to embrace their gifts, strengths, and leadership through love and the spirit of community.
Wendy was born in Washington Heights and raised in Boston. She attended Boston Public Schools and worked for 10 years in the same district. Wendy received her Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources Management and Writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she attended on a Talented Minority Scholarship. She then enrolled at Lesley University’s M.F.A in Creative Writing program, where she worked on a collection of short stories about the struggle of growing up in a racially tense and traditional Dominican family. In her last semester at Lesley University, Wendy was recruited by the Boston Teacher Residency, Boston’s premier teacher preparation program at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and in 2008 graduated with an M.Ed. She entered the education field as the Executive Assistant to the headmaster at an alternative school and remained in this role for 5 years before transitioning to teaching.
Understanding the pressures of high-level executives, in 2014, Wendy left the education field to support high-profile executives, small business owners, and consultants. Wendy believes that her only responsibility is to live in happiness and she does it fearlessly and unapologetically.
She lives with her partner Je’Nae in Quincy, MA and is the proud mom of Remy, a very stubborn Lhasa Apso.
Serena is thrilled to be our first program manager! Born in India and raised in Southern California, she is proud of her cultural roots. Since graduating from Kenyon College in 2016, she has worked as a family advocate for immigrant families and as a field instructor in Latin America and Southeast Asia, facilitating cross- cultural exchanges for high school students. Serena is passionate about global education and immigrant rights.
Ellie Cordero is Chica Project’s 2019 – 2020 AmeriCorps Ambassador of Mentoring. Ellie is a proud Salvadoran and Mexican American woman raised in Malden, MA. She attended UMass Boston where she studied Theater Arts & Women’s & Gender Studies. Ellie is passionate about exploring Latinx identities, learning about history through traveling and collaborating with community members. Ellie has always wanted to join a sisterhood that works toward closing the opportunity divide for Women of Color and is excited to run Chica Project’s mentoring program this year.
Rosana Arriaza is Guatemalan American and is the first generation to go to college in her family! Currently a senior at UMass Boston, she can’t wait to finish off strong with a degree in Psychology and minor in Women and Gender Studies. She is passionate about motivating all women, especially Women of Color, to take on challenges and discover their inner power. Rosana is excited to be a part of an organization filled with charisma and determination to better the personal and professional pathway for Latinas and other Women of Color.
Nikia was born and raised in Jamaica Plain, Boston, where she currently resides. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Clark University in Sociology and History. She recently completed her Masters in Social Work from Boston University. Nikia is passionate about mental health equity in People of Color communities.
Valeria is so excited to be a part of Chica Project! She is proudly from Venezuela and grew up between Caracas and Miami, Florida. A candidate for a Bachelors in International Affairs at Northeastern University, and hopes to one day work in Latin American educational policy. “Among my passions is promoting education about democracy in Latin American communities of all types.” Valeria is thrilled to be part of an organization that empowers Latinas and Women of Color to be proud of their heritage and succeed personally and professionally!
Erika is a Latinx first generation Neoyorquina (New Yorker) and one of our Program Facilitators. She is currently completing her Master’s in Public Health through Boston University’s School of Public Health. Erika is passionate about guiding research aimed towards bringing voices of resilient People of Color communities to the forefront of policy change.